I Love Judge Judy
“Judge Judy, also known as Judge Judith Sheindlin, is celebrating her 10th year on television, and she has never been more popular. She has one of the top programs in syndication, earning her a reported $30 million a year. Her books, with titles like "Don't Pee on My Leg and Tell Me It's Raining," and "Beauty Fades, Dumb Is Forever," have been best sellers. And she has some serious fans. Last summer, both the novelist Kurt Vonnegut and the Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen made semi-serious suggestions that she should be considered to fill Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's seat on the Supreme Court.” ADAM COHEN, The New York Times
In this world of “spinspeak” (see http://spinspeak.com), it’s so great to watch Judge Judy once in a while and see her cut through the lies, spin and evasions and reach a clear-cut decision in a flash. I wish that the real world was more like that. Recently I witnessed a hearing during which Senator Finegold (who wants Congress to censure President Bush) had John Dean (of Watergate fame) called as a witness to buttress his censure attempt. I was reminded of a Judge Judy exchange during which a mother told Judge Judy that her son told her that a picture had fallen from the wall, smashed the fish tank and killed all the fish. Judge Judy responded,”your son is a liar, and you are an idiot”.
Recently, also, I submitted a column of mine to a liberal political forum to see what kind of reaction I’d get. I know better, but I could not believe the twisting of history, the conspiracy theories and the just plain hatred I found there. The comments were so off the wall and so full of obscenities that I could not even begin to answer them. There was no common ground of understanding on which to begin.
One of the issues between liberals and conservatives that bothers me a lot is the failure of many liberals to see the distinction between attacks on a person because of the criminal or immoral things he does, and attacks because of disagreement with his policies or beliefs. Conservatives attacked President Clinton personally because of the unsavory aspects of Whitewater (no other President ever dismissed every federal district attorney on his first day in office – presumably to kill the Whitewater investigations), because he committed perjury and obstruction of justice and because he sexually harassed a White House intern half his age from a position of great power.
On the other hand, liberals have tried to destroy the reputations of so many people only because they had views of the proper role of government that was different from theirs. I am thinking of Justice Bork, Senator Tower, Sec. Donovan, Justice Thomas, Justice Roberts, Justice Alito and others. I am also thinking of their attempts to brand our president as an incompetent liar, and to blame the deaths of African-Americans from Katrina on a deliberate policy of the vice-president. This summer’s NARAL ad and the attempt of NY Times reporters to pierce the shield of confidence of the adoption records of the Roberts’ children is another case in point.
I know that attacking politicians personally is a fine old American tradition, and that conservatives attacked Roosevelt, Truman and others, but the extent to which liberals carry this now has gone way, way out of bounds; liberal Justices Breyer and Ginsburg were never subjected to hateful invective. Conservative thinkers, like David Horovitz and Ann Coulter, actually need police protection when they are invited to speak at college events. This is what you get when Democratic leaders like Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi, Al Gore and Harry Reid spew their foul tirades.